Fear Factor


Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. (Acts 5:11)

Church is way too chummy these days. Smiley faces. Chipper worship leaders. Chatty preachers. It’s like walking into a clubhouse of Teletubbies. There’s a coffee bar with pastries; a book table stacked with DVDs, CDs, and maybe some books; and there may even be clothing and accessory offerings, each sporting the nifty church logo. The worship music is hip and upbeat. The sermon is laid back and reassuring. God is nice.

The problem is that everybody feels comfortable in church.  The guy who secretly does porn. The gal who sleeps around. The dad who beats his kids. The mom who has a thing on the side. The businessman who cheats on his taxes. The lady who hates her neighbor. Everybody can do church and leave, unscathed, to trespass again.

Not that this is all bad. It’s nice to have a nice God who tolerates all the crap you’re into. The grace thing works well for folks who want to get to heaven but have no intention of changing behavior. The chummy church welcomes poor sinners and let’s them keep their sins. God smiles and forgives. It’s all swell.


What we need around here these days is a badassed God who kicks butt. We need a few Holy Ghost executions to freak out the liars, the cheats, the fornicators, and the secret sinners. We need churches with signs posted on the sanctuary doors reading “Enter At Your Own Risk.” We need a few corpses at the altar. We need some Sundays when more people go to church than come back home. We need churches that stock body bags right next to the plastic communion cups. What we need is a healthy dose of terror to sober us up.

Our current deity is a pansy. His son is a doormat. The Ghost is a neurotic people-pleaser. In fact, the whole Godhead is about as impressive as cottage cheese. Shoot, he can’t even convince his own people to holy up; how is he going to impress the pagans?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not into that psycho-bubba Allah. He’s got more issues than Charles Manson and would be hellish company if you had to spend an eternity with him. But I’m not worried about him; he’s a has-been wannabe who drives around Sandville in a beat up pickup with a gun rack. He’s a loser.

What I am talking about is the Guy who is crazy enough to send Number 2 to the gallows in order to save your carnal hide. I’m talking about blistering asphalt and scorched souls. I’m talking about a God who can still loosen your bowels and burn your retinas. That guy.

I’m not saying church would be fun. I’m just saying it’d be a whole lot more interesting.


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